“The Golden Girls” Theme Song Almost Wasn’t

When the first episode of The Golden Girls aired on NBC on Sept. 14, 1985, no one dreamed it would still be on the air nearly 40 years later. The series was created by writer/producer Susan Harris and starred Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty. One of the first things that comes to mind when fans discuss the show is the catchy theme song, “Thank You for Being a Friend.” It might surprise you to learn that the song wasn’t the first choice producers wanted. Initially, they approached the studio that had the rights to Bette Midler’s song “Friends,” but the cost of buying the license was too expensive and they had to pass. Thankfully, someone on the crew remembered Andrew Gold’s song and pitched it to the team. Licensing the song wasn’t as expensive, so they went for it and had Cynthia Fee make the recording. According to Gold, “Thank You for Being a Friend” was “just this little throwaway thing” that took him an hour to write. Needless to say, his royalties are thanking him today for that hour.